HM Treasury Spring Statement, 13 March: Rail industry publishes open letter to Minister calling for greater transparency of rail infrastructure improvements 

12 March 2019

On the day the Chancellor announces his Spring Statement, the Railway Industry Association (RIA), the national trade body for the UK rail supply community, has published an open letter to the Rail Minister Andrew Jones MP, calling for changes to the decision-making process for rail infrastructure improvements, known as enhancements, to ensure greater transparency. 

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA), said: “With the Chancellor announcing investment decisions in his Spring Statement today, and with the next rail investment Control Period, CP6, starting just next month, the Railway Industry Association and its members are concerned that the Government's new Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP) process will reduce the rail industry’s ability to plan for and deliver enhancement projects. 

“Whilst this RNEP process may bring openness in terms of how future enhancement projects may be assessed, we now have reduced visibility of the actual upcoming work required on the network. This makes planning and efficient delivery of enhancements work for rail businesses more difficult, and has the knock-on effect of stifling investment, jobs and economic growth in the rail industry, as well as going against the Government’s own recently-published guidance which says there is an expectation that all central government departments will publish their commercial pipelines.

“So we urge the Government to publish as soon as possible a full list of enhancements projects planned for CP6, as well as those projects planned as part of the Hendy Tail which have been carried over from CP5. And we call for the full transparency going forward for this new Pipeline.”

Download the open letter to the Minister

Notes to Editors

  1. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. We promote and represent our members’ interests to policy makers, clients and other stakeholders in the UK and overseas. RIA has 260+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry

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